Navigate

Rick Perry: Thinks Supporters Of Marriage Equality Should Just Move To California

 

Withdrew Candidacy


Rick Perry: Thinks Supporters Of Marriage Equality Should Just Move To California

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent years on the political stage. During that time, not only has he consistently opposed LGBT equality, but he’s used his opposition to LGBT rights as a campaign issue against other candidates.

Marriage : Perry supported a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Texas, supports a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage nationwide, and has attacked judges who have ruled against same-sex marriage bans. He even defied a Department of Defense rule that would have granted LGBT service members access to domestic partner benefits.

Discrimination: Perry attacked the Obama Administration’s work to protect LGBT people around the world from discrimination, and he opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have protected LGBT workers in the United States from employment discrimination. He also defended Gov. Mike Pence’s right to discriminate legislation.

President Obama’s LGBT Executive Order: Unclear

Conversion Therapy: Perry has campaigned with and given speeches to organizations that promote dangerous “conversion therapy” that has led to LGBT minors committing suicide.

Adoption: Perry defended Texas’ ban on LGBT couples adopting children, and said he would support a federal measure to ban LGBT couples from adopting.

Anti-Bullying: Perry signed a bill that required schools to have anti-bullying policies, but the bill did not include LGBT-specific provisions. He also signed a hate crimes bill that was opposed by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Harmful Rhetoric : Perry has attacked LGBT members serving openly in the military, and in opposing LGBT participation in the Boy Scouts, compared himself to an abolitionist fighting against slavery. He said that those Texans who support same-sex marriage should move to California.

 

Perry’s Notable Quotes on LGBT Equality

Perry Said There Was Something Wrong In This Country When “Gays Can Serve Openly In The Military But Our Kids Can’t Openly Celebrate Christmas Or Pray In School.” According to Politico, Perry released an ad “Strong,” where the Governor said, “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.” [Politico, 12/7/2011 ; VIDEO]

Perry Asked Would You Rather Live In A State That’s Creating Jobs Or “In A State Where A Man Can Marry A Man?” According to the Texas Tribune, during a campaign stop in Temple, TX, Governor Perry said, “We're creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. ... Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?” [The Texas Tribune, 8/30/2010]

 

Perry on the Issues

Marriage Equality: Opposed

Protecting LGBT Americans from Discrimination: Opposed

President Obama’s Executive Orders: Unclear

Ban Harmful “Conversion Therapy”Opposed

LGBT Adoption: Opposed

Anti-Bullying: Supported

 

Significant Findings on Marriage Equality

Signed bill to prevent Texas from recognizing same-sex marriages granted in other states

Helped pass a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Texas

Said Texans who support same-sex marriage should “move to California”

Signed pledges to oppose same-sex marriage

Backed a federal constitutional amendment opposing same-sex marriage

Refused to comply with Defense Department rule that would grant partner benefits to Texas military personnel

 

2003: Perry Signed Law Preventing Texas From Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages. According to the Associated Press: “Gov. Rick Perry signed a law preventing Texas from legally recognizing same-sex unions that are formed in other states. […] Supporters said the act was needed to protect Texas from the decisions of judges in other states where same-sex unions could be recognized. ‘Like the vast majority of Texans, I believe that marriage represents a sacred union between a man and a woman,’ Perry said in a statement. ‘With [the] passage of the Defense of Marriage Act, Texas now joins more than 30 states in reinforcing that basic belief.’” [Associated Press, 5/28/2003]

2005: Perry Helped Support And Pass A Ballot Measure Banning Same-Sex Marriage In Texas. According to the Dallas Morning News: “Texans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to bolster the state's ban on same-sex marriage by writing it into the state constitution, rejecting concerns that the broadly worded amendment could go much further than intended. The measure swept most of the state's major urban counties, including Dallas and Tarrant. Overall, the amendment, Proposition 2 on the statewide ballot, prevailed by about a 3-1 ratio as voters decided nine amendments. […]Supporters of the proposal, such as Gov. Rick Perry, said their main goal was to defend marriage as a vital societal institution that should not be changed.” [Dallas Morning News, 11/9/2005]

Perry Said During His Administration “The Sacred Institution Of Marriage” Had Been Protected From Activist Judges. According to Corpus Christi Caller-Times, during a campaign stop: “Perry went on to discuss several national issues that analysts say have divided some Republicans, conservatives and others. Making a direct reference to his conservative philosophy, Perry pointed out that during his administration, more money has been spent to curb illegal immigration, a new parental consent law is in place to help curb abortion and ‘the sacred institution of marriage’ has been protected from activist judges who might have allowed same-sex marriages, he said.” [Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 1/12/2006]

Perry Asked Would You Rather Live In A State That’s Creating Jobs Or “In A State Where A Man Can Marry A Man?” During a campaign stop in Temple, Governor Perry said, “We're creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. ... Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?” [The Texas Tribune, 8/30/2010]

Perry Said If Someone Wants To Live In A Place That Included “Gay Marriage” They Should Move To California. During an interview on National Public Radio, Governor Perry said: “If, you know, you want to live in a state that has high taxes, high regulations, that is favorable toward smoking marijuana and gay marriage, move to California.” [National Public Radio, 11/5/2010]

Perry Supported Legislation To Take Away Marriage Equality That He Had Mistakenly Approved. According to the East Bernard Express: “A 2009 bill, H.B. 3666, made changes to the family code and was created at the request of the Texas County and District Clerk's Association, which was requesting guidelines on what documents could be used to grant marriage licenses. Advocates for the transgender population say this year's Republican-sponsored bills, S.B. 723 and H.B. 3098, that address wording in the 2009 bill smack of discrimination and put their legally granted marriages in danger of being nullified if challenged in court. […]Gov. Rick Perry's spokesman Mark Miner said the governor never intended to allow transgender people to get married. He said the three-word sex-change provision was sneaked through on a larger piece of legislation Perry signed regarding marriage licensing rules for county and district clerks. Perry, a Republican, supports efforts to ‘clarify the unintended consequences’ of that law, Miner said.”[East Bernard Express, 4/28/2011]

Perry Said He Was A Firm Believer In The 10 th Amendment And Was “Fine” If New York Wanted Same-Sex Marriage. According to the Associated Press: “Perry, who has been weighing a presidential run, said he opposes gay marriage but that he's also a firm believer of the 10th Amendment. ‘Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me,’ he said to applause from several hundred GOP donors in Aspen, Colo. ‘That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.’” [Associated Press, 7/23/2011]

Perry Clarified Marriage Statement Saying “Obviously, Gay Marriage Is Not Fine With Me.” According to Austin American-Statesman: “In an interview with the Family Research Council that was posted on the organization's blog, Perry repeated his opposition to gay marriage and his support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that limits marriage to one man and one woman. ‘I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it's fine with me,’ and that it's fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue,’ Perry told council President Tony Perkins. ‘Obviously, gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn't changed.’” Austin American-Statesman, 7/29/2011]

Perry Said He Supported A Federal Marriage Amendment. According to the Associated Press, Governor Perry said, “I am for the federal marriage amendment, […] And that's about as sharp a point as I could put on it.” [Associated Press, 7/30/2011]

Perry Signed The National Organization For Marriage Pledge Against Marriage Equality. According to the Associated Press, “Rick Perry has signed a pledge to back a federal constitutional amendment against gay marriage - a reversal from a month ago when the Texas governor said he so supported individual states’ rights that he was fine with New York's approval of same-sex marriage. The pledge by the National Organization for Marriage states that, if elected, Perry will send a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification, and appoint U.S. Supreme Court and federal judges who will ‘reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.’” [Associated Press, 9/1/2011]

Perry Was Critical Of Romney Changing His Position On “Traditional Marriage.” According to the Huffington Post, while giving an interview on Fox News ‘The O'Reilly Factor,’ Governor Perry was critical of Mitt Romney, saying: “How do you change at the age of 50 or 60 positions on life, positions on guns, positions on traditional marriage […] I mean those aren't minor issues, Bill. So to change those at the age of 50 or 60 tells you all you need to know about that.” [Huffington Post, 10/25/2011 ; VIDEO]

Perry Endorsed New Hampshire Legislators Efforts To Repeal Marriage Equality In New Hampshire. According to Think Progress, speaking to anti-equality group Cornerstone Action in New Hampshire, “Rick Perry endorsed efforts to repeal New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law on Friday, during an awkward and uncomfortable address to the anti-gay group Cornerstone Action. ‘As conservatives we believe in the sanctity of life. We believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage,’ Perry was quoted as saying. ‘And I applaud those legislators in New Hampshire who are working to defend marriage as an institution between one man and one woman, realizing that children need to be raised in a loving home by a mother and a father.’” [Think Progress, 10/31/2011 ; VIDEO]

Perry Suggested A Constitutional Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriages Could Be Addressed At The Federal Level. According to the Texas Tribune, “When asked about a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Perry said there were things the states could to do until such an amendment was passed. ‘I think it is an issue that you can address at the federal level. And passing a federal marriage amendment is one of the ways to do that. But until that does pass, as in the state of Texas, a gay couple cannot adopt a child in the state of Texas,’ Perry said.” [Texas Tribune, 11/20/2011 ]

Perry Signed Family Leader Pledge To Protect The Defense Of Marriage Act. According to The Examiner: “The Texas governor and Republican presidential contender signed a controversial marriage pledge in Iowa in hopes of winning the endorsement of a key evangelical group. Perry is the third candidate, behind Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, to sign the Family Leader pledge to protect the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, to remain faithful to their spouse and to appoint judges who are faithful constitutionalists.” [The Examiner, 11/22/2011]

Perry Spokesperson Said The Governor Was Proud Of North Carolina Voters Who Voted Against Marriage Equality. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Perry’s spokesperson said the Governor was “proud of North Carolina voters who (Tuesday night) elected to enshrine that definition [that marriage is between one man and one woman] in their constitution, joining Texas and an increasing number of states in the ongoing effort to defend marriage. Once again, it’s clear that President Obama's political ideology doesn't line up with the will of the voters.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5/10/2012]

Perry Flipped On Same-Sex Marriage Being Decided By The States. According to the Associated Press: “Shortly before entering the 2011 presidential race, Perry said he supports states’ rights so much that he's fine with the approval of gay marriage in places like New York. Within days of formally declaring his White House run, however, Perry changed his mind. In August 2011, he signed a National Organization for Marriage pledge to defend the institution as between one man and one woman.” [Associated Press, 7/2/2013]

Perry Defied The Defense Department And Refused To Issue Same-Sex Spousal Benefits To Texas National Guard Members. According to The Houston Chronicle: “The Defense Department said it would issue benefits to same-sex spouses of the military as well as civilian workers after the Supreme Court ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Gov. Rick Perry defied the Pentagon, saying Texas defines marriage as between a man and a woman. But Hagel made it clear Oct. 31 that the Defense Department expected all 54 guard organizations to comply. Texas cited its state constitution and Family Code in refusing Hagel's demands. It told same-sex couples to file their paperwork at more than 20 active-duty installations and refused to let them to apply for benefits at guard facilities in Abilene, Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and the Rio Grande Valley…..The governor, who has led challenges to Washington over redistricting, abortion and its new voter ID law, insisted the state wouldn't give in, and the phrasing of a news release Tuesday on the guard's website didn't suggest that Texas backed down.” [The Houston Chronicle, 11/26/2013]

Perry Spokesman Said The Governor Would Uphold The Texas State Law Against The Defense Department. According to the Houston Chronicle, Perry spokesman Josh Havens said, “I guess I couldn't be surprised that someone from the Obama administration is trying to force their will onto the states and bypass the state’s constitutional authority to govern itself.” He added that Governor Perry the governor had “every intent to uphold the Texas Constitution and state law.” [The Houston Chronicle, 11/2/2013]

American Military Partner Association: Perry “Creating A Hostile Climate Of Discrimination.” According to U.S. Official News, American Military Partner Association President Stephen Peters said, “By refusing to treat same-gender military couples equally, the Texas Military Forces, under the leadership of Gov. Rick Perry, is creating a hostile climate of discrimination and has sent a strong message that Department of Defense policies and direct orders by the secretary of defense will not be followed.” [U.S. Official News, 11/21/2013]

Perry Said The Sanctity Of Marriage Between A Man And Woman Was The “Linchpin Of The Family Unit And, Thus, Society As A Whole.” According to Reuters: “Gov. Rick Perry has said he ‘believes in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, regarding it as the linchpin of the family unit and, thus, society as a whole.’” [Reuters, 11/29/2013]

Perry Criticized A U.S. District Court’s Decision To Overturn Texas’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, in response to San Antonio U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s ruling against Texas’s constitutional ban of same-sex marriage, Governor Perry said, “Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens […] The 10th Amendment (to the United States constitution) guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn’t be achieved at the ballot box. We will continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state.” [San Antonio Business Journal, 2/26/2014]

Perry Said On Same-Sex Marriage “People Will Decide Where They Want To Live If Washington Will Respect The 10th Amendment.” In an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, “Perry said he neither condones nor condemns homosexuality. ‘I don't necessarily condone that lifestyle,’ he said. ‘I don't condemn it either. We are all children of God, and the fact is that people will decide where they want to live if Washington will respect the 10th Amendment.’ Perry said Texas overwhelmingly adopted a state constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman. Though a judge recently struck it down, pending appeal. Perry said he respects how other states come down on the issue. ‘I respect whatever they want to do in California or New York for that matter,’ he said.” [The Hill , 6/16/2014 , CNBC, Squawk Box, 6/16/2014; VIDEO]

Perry Said It Was “Rhode Island’s Choice” To Have Marriage Equality And Stressed It Was A Decision For The States. In an appearance on CNN, Lincoln Chafee said, “Very proud in Rhode Island we have marriage equality and we're a free state and everybody's welcome.” Rick Perry responded, “And you know what? That's Rhode Island's choice and I agree with that. And if we as a country will get back to allowing the states to decide these instead of -- we got lots of big issues in this country like how do we get this country back working again, how do we secure the border, how do we have a foreign policy that is actually not feckless.” [CNN, Crossfire, 6/18/2014 ; VIDEO]

Perry Said He Thought Alabama’s Refusal To Recognize Federal Court Decision Was A “State Issue” Until Supreme Court Issues Ruling In June. According to ABC: “Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, also said he believes it is a ‘state issue.’ ‘The Supreme Court will take it up in June,’ Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said. ‘Until then, this is a matter between the State of Alabama and the courts.’” [ABC News, 2/10/2015 ]

 

Significant Findings on Discrimination Protections for LGBT Americans

Opposed efforts to combat discrimination against LGBT people worldwide.

Perry refused to implement a Department of Defense order to ensure LGBT military personnel had access to domestic partner benefits.

Perry opposed ENDA, claiming that it would “hurt people.”

Defended Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s right to discriminate legislation.

 

Perry Criticized President Obama’s Effort to End Discrimination against LGBT People Worldwide. According to the Chicago Tribune: “the administration announced a new effort to ‘end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons’ around the world. President Obama issued an executive memo outlining the campaign, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a speech on International Human Rights Day arguing that gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.’” Perry said President Obama was “out of touch with America's values.” [Chicago Tribune, 12/18/2011]

Perry Suggested That America Did Not Endorse LGBT Lifestyle. According to the New York Times, Governor Perry said in response to the administration promoting LGBT human rights worldwide, “President Obama has again mistaken America's tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake.” [New York Times, 12/7/2011]

Perry Said Promoting LGBT Rights To Foreign Countries “Not Worth A Dime Of Taxpayers’ Money.” According to ABC News, Governor Perry said in response to the administration promoting LGBT human rights worldwide, “[P]romoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America's interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers' money.” [ABC News, 12/6/2011 ]

Perry Defied The Defense Department And Refused To Issue Spousal Benefits to LGBT Texas National Guard Members. According to The Houston Chronicle: “The Defense Department said it would issue benefits to same-sex spouses of the military as well as civilian workers after the Supreme Court ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Gov. Rick Perry defied the Pentagon, saying Texas defines marriage as between a man and a woman. But Hagel made it clear Oct. 31 that the Defense Department expected all 54 guard organizations to comply. Texas cited its state constitution and Family Code in refusing Hagel's demands. It told same-sex couples to file their paperwork at more than 20 active-duty installations and refused to let them to apply for benefits at guard facilities in Abilene, Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and the Rio Grande Valley…..The governor, who has led challenges to Washington over redistricting, abortion and its new voter ID law, insisted the state wouldn't give in, and the phrasing of a news release Tuesday on the guard's website didn't suggest that Texas backed down.” [The Houston Chronicle, 11/26/2013]

Perry Spokesman Said The Governor Would Uphold The Texas State Law Against The Defense Department. According to the Houston Chronicle, Perry spokesman Josh Havens said, “I guess I couldn't be surprised that someone from the Obama administration is trying to force their will onto the states and bypass the state’s constitutional authority to govern itself.” He added that Governor Perry the governor had “every intent to uphold the Texas Constitution and state law.” [The Houston Chronicle, 11/2/2013]

American Military Partner Association: Perry “Creating A Hostile Climate Of Discrimination.” According to U.S. Official News, American Military Partner Association President Stephen Peters said, “By refusing to treat same-gender military couples equally, the Texas Military Forces, under the leadership of Gov. Rick Perry, is creating a hostile climate of discrimination and has sent a strong message that Department of Defense policies and direct orders by the secretary of defense will not be followed.” [U.S. Official News, 11/21/2013]

Perry Believed That The Employment Non-Discrimination Act Would Hurt People. During an interview on NBC-13, when asked whether he thought The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would protect people or hurt, Perry replied, “Well obviously, you have to be able to protect the individuals who have a clear difference from a stand point of their beliefs on the religious side of it. So, I fall down with the ladder [sic] group.” [NBC - 13 WHO, 11/10/2013 ; VIDEO]

Perry Tweeted His Support For Indiana Governor Mike Pence During Controversy Over Indiana Right-To-Discriminate Law. According to twitter, Perry tweeted, “I stand with @GovPenceIN. Religious freedom is worth protecting. #RFRA.” [Twitter, @GovernorPerry, 3/31/2015 ]

Perry Said Passage Of 1999 Texas RFRA Was “Power Of Consequence” That He Was “Proud” To Help Pass. At Faith and Freedom Coalition In Waukee, IA, Perry said, “This is a place that lives in liberty. We believe in freedom. We believe in religious freedom in the state of Texas. We passed that religious freedom bill in 1999, and I was proud to work with George W. Bush as the Lt. Governor to pass that. You see that’s the power of consequence. That’s the power of principle. That’s the power that I think is taught in the Bible.” [Faith and Freedom Coalition, Waukee, IA, 4/25/2015 ; VIDEO]

 

Significant Findings on Dangerous “Conversion Therapy”

Rick Perry has repeatedly campaigned with organizations that promote dangerous “conversion therapy”

 

Perry Avoided Answering Whether He Thought Being LGBT Was A Choice, Saying “I'm Not A Social Scientist.” According to the Washington Post, when asked if he thought being LGBT was a choice, Governor Perry said, “I'm not a social scientist. I can't answer the question of, ‘Is it the environment that one finds oneself in or is it the way you're wired up when you are born?’ I don't know. I do know this: that people have a choice to engage in that activity. For instance, there's probably a debate that goes on about if you're an alcoholic you were born with that genetic trait. But every day, individuals realize that that is a trait that is not particularly good for their health, not good for their well-being and that it can be controlled with responsible behavior. And I would suggest that that is probably an argument that can be made for a host of genetically inclined disorders. If that in fact is where they come from.” [Washington Post, 2/24/2008]

Perry Spoke At A Prayer Rally Financed By The American Family Association. According to the Associated Press: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked Christians to turn to God for answers to the nation's troubles as he held court Saturday over a national prayer rally attended by thousands of evangelical conservatives, an important constituency should the Republican seek the GOP presidential nomination. […] The event was Perry's idea but was financed by the American Family Association, a Tupelo, Miss.-based group that opposes abortion and gay rights and believes that the First Amendment freedom of religion applies only to Christians.” [Associated Press, 8/6/2011]

AFA: “If We Want To See Fewer Students Commit Suicide, We Want Fewer Homosexual Students” And Encouraged Adults To Help LGBT Students “Resist Dangerous Sexual Impulses.” According to Right Wing Watch, AFA wrote on their blog, “Homosexual conduct is as risky and dangerous as injection drug abuse. No right-thinking adult would encourage a student tempted to shoot up to yield to such impulses and plunge headlong into a drug-addled lifestyle. In fact, we would be highly critical of any adult who would do that, and hold him partially accountable for the destruction that would follow. Nor should we encourage students wrestling with same-sex attractions to take the plunge. Rather, they should be helped to resist these self-destructive impulses and redirect their sexual energies in healthy and life-giving directions. It can be done; in fact, it happens every day. If we want to see fewer students commit suicide, we want fewer homosexual students. What all truly caring adults will want to do for a student struggling with his sexual identity is to help him resist dangerous sexual impulses, accept his biological identity as either male or female, and help him learn to adjust his psychological identity to his God-given biological one. Along that path lies psychological, spiritual, mental and emotional wholeness. Along the path of sexual depravity lies loneliness, self-torment, disease, and even death. It is a cruel thing to help a sexually confused student walk down a path that leads to darkness rather than urge him to choose a path that leads to light. The choice between life and death lies before America’s students. Let’s not punish the folks that will help them choose life.” [Right Wing Watch, 10/13/10 ]

AFA’s Fischer Said “If You Believe That What Drug Abusers Need Is To Go Through An Effective Detox Program, Then We Should Likewise Put Active Homosexuals Through An Effective Reparative Therapy Program.” In response to a letter from a listener complaining about Fischer’s comments on sanctions for homosexual behavior, Fischer clarified, “It might be worth noting that what I actually suggested is that we impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse, since both pose the same kind of risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. I’d be curious to know what you think should be done with IV drug abusers, because whatever it is, I think the same response should be made to those who engage in homosexual behavior. If you believe that what drug abusers need is to go into an effective detox program, then we should likewise put active homosexuals through an effective reparative therapy program.” [Science Blogs, 2/2/10 ]

AFA’s Donald Wildmon Sponsored The Ex-Gay Truth In Love Campaign; The Campaign Star Michael Johnston, Who Had “Prayed Away The Gay,” Was Later Exposed For Having Sexual Relations With Men He Met On The Internet. Truth Wins Out wrote, “Donald W. Wildmon, chairman of the rabidly anti-gay American Family Association, stepped down today , citing an illness resulting from a mosquito bite… Under his 30-years at the helm, the Tupelo, Mississippi-based AFA became obsessed with gay people and was a sponsor of 1998′s notorious ex-gay Truth In Love Campaign. The organization made a video with Truth in Love star Michael Johnston, who discussed on the video how he had prayed away the gay after he became HIV+. In 2003, Johnston was exposed for meeting multiple men on the Internet and having sexual relations with them. The AFA acknowledged the scandal saying that Johnston had a ‘moral fall.’ Amazingly, the AFA continued to sell ‘It’s Not Gay’ and never bothered to tell viewers that the poster boy featured in the video was living in a sex addiction facility in Kentucky. (Indeed, the organization continues to sell the video and peddle the fiction that gays can go straight.)” [Truth Wins Out, 3/4/10 ]

Perry Was Accused Of Speaking In Front Of “An Anti-Gay” Group Called The Cornerstone In New Hampshire. During a segment of her show, Rachel Maddow said “Also, remember the weird speech that Rick Perry gave during the campaign where he hugged that syrup bottle and everyone wondered if there wasn`t something a little off about Rick Perry that night. That was a group in front of a group called Cornerstone in New Hampshire, an anti-gay group in New Hampshire. Their research page on helpful links lists four helpful links on homosexuality , four helpful organizations, all of which are organizations that claim to be able to cure gay people -- to be able to cure people of having the affliction known as ‘the gay.’” [MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, 4/18/2012]

Cornerstone Endorsed Discredited Conversion Therapy Groups Such As Exodus International, Love Won Out, PFOX, And The National Association For Research And Therapy Of Homosexuality (NARTH). According to Think Progress, “Cornerstone — which has been instrumental to opposing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire and leading the charge to repeal it — is closely linked to anti-gay groups like The Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the National Organization for Marriage and has ‘endorsed the discredited ‘ex-gay’ therapy groups such as Exodus International, Love Won Out, PFOX, and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).’” [Think Progress, 6/22/2011 ]

2014: Perry Compared Being LGBT To Being An Alcoholic. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, while giving a speech in San Francisco Governor Perry said, “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.” [The San Francisco Chronicle, 6/21/2014; 6/11/2014 , VIDEO]

Perry Retracted LGBT Comparison To Alcoholism. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, “Speaking to a lunch for Washington journalists Thursday, Perry said Republicans should not to be ‘deflected’ by divisive social issues. ‘I got asked about an issue,’ Perry said, ‘and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you're gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead of getting - which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it.’” [The San Francisco Chronicle, 6/21/2014]

Perry Said He Didn’t Know Whether Therapy Could Change Sexual Orientation And Would Leave That To Psychologists, And That He Neither Condoned Nor Condemned That “Lifestyle. ” In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Perry said, “Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Monday that he wasn't sure whether it's possible to stop someone from being gay through a process known as conversion therapy, saying he would defer to the medical and mental health community's opinion on the matter. His comments came during an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, in which he addressed his recent remarks comparing homosexuality and alcoholism. ‘I don't think gay marriage leads to cirrhosis of the liver, or domestic violence, or DUIs -- I don't see how that's similar,’ said CNBC host Joe Kernan, pushing Perry on his comments. He then asked the governor if he believed that therapy could change someone's sexual orientation. ‘I don't know. The fact is, we'll leave that to the psychologists and the doctors to decide,’ replied Perry, later adding, ‘I don't necessarily condone that lifestyle. I don't condemn it either. We're all children of God.’” [Huffington Post, 6/16/2014 ; CNBC, Squawk Box, 6/16/2014; VIDEO]

Perry Repeatedly Refused To Clarify Whether Or Not He Considered Being LGBT To Be A Disease Like Alcoholism. In an interview on CNN’s Crossfire’s Stephanie Cutter, Perry refused to clarify whether he considered homosexuality to be a disease. According to CNN, “CUTTER: ‘You're saying alcoholism is a disease, we know that. Are you saying that homosexuality is a disease as well?’ PERRY: ‘I think my position has been fairly clear on that for a substantial period of time. And here's what's more important –‘CUTTER: ‘If you can just tell us your position.’ PERRY: ‘No, I'm going to tell you where I think we need be as a country and focused on. And that is not on these social issues. I think the social issues, frankly, should be decided state by state rather than being something in Washington, D.C., to try to make one size fits all, whether it's’ –[….] CUTTER: ‘So why were you referring to alcoholism then? PERRY: I got asked the question and I responded in the way that I have before.’ CUTTER: ‘That alcoholism is a disease. You have the gene.’ PERRY: ‘The issue is one that needs to be decided state by state. These social issues like that.’” [CNN, Crossfire, 6/18/2014 ; VIDEO]

When Asked About The Texas GOP’s Platform Endorsement Of Conversion Therapy, Perry Refused To Clarify His Opinion On Whether Therapy Can Cure Being LGBT. In an interview on CNN’s Crossfire’s Stephanie Cutter, Perry refused to clarify whether he agreed with the Texas GOP Platform that therapy can cure people of being LGBT. According to CNN, “CUTTER: ‘OK, let's talk about your state. Your Republican Party in Texas just adopted conversion therapy as part of their political platform. Now, conversion therapy is when you -- there's a belief that you can, through therapy, cure people of being homosexual. Now, that's been rejected by the medical community for almost four decades. That's being decided by Texas. You're the governor of Texas. You're the leader of the Republican Party in Texas. Isn't that exactly what you were saying? Isn't that the same thing that you said?’ PERRY: ‘I said in that remark that I'd leave that to the psychiatrists and the doctors. But here's my important issue –‘ CUTTER: ‘They've rejected it. They've rejected it.’ PERRY: ‘I'm tell you, the more important issue is one that we need to be focused on in this country and that's to get this country back working again.’ CUTTER: ‘So, you don't have an opinion on any of this then? You don't have an opinion on either side?’ PERRY: ‘I think my statements stand on your own.’ CUTTER: ‘I don't understand it.’ PERRY: ‘I can't help you understand it.’ CUTTER: ‘OK. All right.’” [CNN, Crossfire, 6/18/2014 ; VIDEO]

2008: Perry Compared Being LGBT To Alcoholism. According to the Associated Press “In an earlier book, 2008’s ‘On My Honor,’ Perry likened homosexuality to alcoholism. ‘I can sympathize with those who believe sexual preference is genetic. It may be so, but it remains unproved. Even if it were, this does not mean we are ultimately not responsible for the active choices we make,’ he wrote. ‘Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink. And even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.’” [Associated Press, 9/1/2011]


 

Significant Findings on Rhetoric and Intolerance

Defended Texas ban on LGBT couples from having sex as “appropriate”

Refused to say whether being LGBT is a choice or not

In opposing LGBT participation in the Boy Scouts, compared himself to an abolitionist fighting against slavery

Opposed LGBT service members serving openly, because homosexuality was “sinful”

Attacked repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in television ad

Compared being LGBT to being alcoholic, later retracted his statement

 

2002: Perry Thought The Ban On LGBT People From Having Sex Was “Appropriate.” According to the Associated Press: “The Texas law that bans homosexual sex is ‘appropriate,’ Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court said it would decide a Texas case that asks whether it's unconstitutional for states to punish same-sex couples for having sex. ‘I think our law is appropriate that we have on the books,’ Perry said.” [Associated Press, 12/4/2002 ]

Perry Wrote A Book Outlining The Legal Challenge Against Allowing LGBT People in The Boy Scouts. According to the Washington Times: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry is determined not to let the Boy Scouts of America become the latest casualty of what he calls the ongoing cultural battle between traditional American values and the secular left. In his new book, ‘On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For,’ Mr. Perry outlines the legal challenges over the Boy Scouts' refusal to abandon positions on gays and religion. He said the organization should not succumb to pressure to change.” [Washington Times, 2/29/2008]

Perry Said He Did Not Believe Parents Enrolled Their “Sons In Scouts To Get A Lesson On Human Sexuality.” According to the Washington Post, Governor Perry said, “Look, I agree with the right of individuals to choose their own sexual orientation. . . . But I don't believe that parents enroll their sons in Scouts to get a lesson on human sexuality. And if there is an openly gay Scout-master, the kids are going to talk about it.” [Washington Post, 2/24/2008]

Perry Said He Thought “That There Are A Whole Host Of Sins, Homosexuality Being One Of Them.” According to National Journal: “After viewing on television Texas Gov. Rick Perry's ad decrying openly gay military service personnel, the high school freshman decided to confront Perry at a campaign event. Green approached him and asked, ‘I just want to know why you're so opposed to gays serving openly in the military and why you want to deny them their freedom when they’re fighting for your rights.’ Perry replied, ‘This is about my faith, and I happen to think that there are a whole host of sins, homosexuality being one of them. And I'm a sinner, and so I'm not going to be the person to throw a stone.’” [National Journal, 12/22/2011]

Perry Called The Organizations Lobbying To Allow LGBT People In The Scouts “The Radical Homosexual Movement.” According to Slate Magazine: “Perry found a way to blame critics of the Scouts for an obscene number of American maladies. The cause of the problem, of course, was the gay lobby. ‘The radical homosexual movement seeks societal normalization of their sexual activity,’ he wrote. ‘I respect their right to engage in the individual business of their choosing, but they must respect the right of millions in society to refuse to normalize their behavior.’” [Slate Magazine, 9/2/2011]

Perry Suggested Marriage Was Outlined In The Ten Commandments. According to MNBS’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Governor Perry said, “The original law is God`s law outlined in the Ten Commandments. Marriage is between one man and one woman.” [MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, 3/27/2013; VIDEO]

Perry Said There Was Something Wrong In This Country When “Gays Can Serve Openly In The Military But Our Kids Can’t Openly Celebrate Christmas Or Pray In School.” According to Politico, Perry released an ad, “Strong,” where the Governor said, “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.” [Politico, 12/7/2011 ; VIDEO]

Perry Said He Was “Comfortable” With Commercial Criticizing LGBT Military Service. During an appearance on CNN’s The Situation Room, Governor Perry responded to the controversy over his campaign ad lamenting open LGBT military service, saying, “When you talk to the bishops of the Catholic Church, there is clearly an agenda by this administration to go after those Catholic charities that are offering health care, doing work for trafficking of individuals. The administration is clearly sending messages to people of faith and organizations of faith. We're not going to support you with federal dollars. I mean, that's one of the examples right there. So, I'm very comfortable with that ad for one thing. My faith is part of me. The values I learned in my Christian upbringing will affect my governing. I mean, I asked people, I said, which one of the Ten Commandments do you not like? I mean, why are our children not allowed to pray in school? Why can they not celebrate Christmas? Those are I think traditional and solid American values that we're seeing trampled upon by this administration.” [CNN, The Situation Room, 12/7/2011; VIDEO]

2014: Perry Compared Being LGBT To Being An Alcoholic. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, while giving a speech in San Francisco, Governor Perry said, “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.” [The San Francisco Chronicle, 6/21/2014; 6/11/2014 , VIDEO]

Perry Retracted LGBT Comparison To Alcoholism. According to The San Francisco Chronicle: “Speaking to a lunch for Washington journalists Thursday, Perry said Republicans should not to be ‘deflected’ by divisive social issues. ‘I got asked about an issue,’ Perry said, ‘and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you're gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead of getting - which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it.’” [The San Francisco Chronicle, 6/21/2014]

2008: Perry Compared Being LGBT To Alcoholism. According to the Associated Press: “In an earlier book, 2008’s ‘On My Honor,’ Perry likened homosexuality to alcoholism. ‘I can sympathize with those who believe sexual preference is genetic. It may be so, but it remains unproved. Even if it were, this does not mean we are ultimately not responsible for the active choices we make,’ he wrote. ‘Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink. And even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.’” [Associated Press, 9/1/2011]

Perry Was “Greatly Disappointed” In The Boy Scout Of America’s Decision To Allow LGBT Scouts. According to Governor Perry’s press release, in response to the announcement that the Boy Scouts of America would allow LGBT scouts, Perry said, “The Boys [sic] Scouts of America has been built upon the values of faith and family for more than 100 years and today's decision contradicts generations of tradition in the name of political correctness. While I will always cherish my time as a scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision.” [Governor Perry Press Release, 5/23/2013]

Perry Suggested The LGBT Movement Was “The Flavor Of The Month” And Hoped Americans Would Stand Up Against Allowing LGBT People In The Scouts Saying “Not On My Watch.” According to Raw Story, while appearing on the Family Research Council‘s program “Stand With Scouts Sunday,” Governor Perry said that the Boy Scouts’ “values and principles have worked for a century now. And for pop culture to come in and try to tear that up, which happens to be the flavor of the month so to speak, and to tear apart one of the great organizations that has served millions of young men, helped them become men and great fathers, that is just not appropriate and I hope the American people will stand up and say, ‘Not on my watch.’” [Raw Story, 5/6/2013 ; VIDEO]

Perry Compared Refusing LGBT People Into The Boy Scouts To Fighting Slavery. According to Raw Story, while appearing on the Family Research Council‘s program “Stand With Scouts Sunday,” Governor Perry said, “The greatest governor that ever served this state was Sam Houston. And from this library that I speak, he made a powerful decision that cost him his governorship. He was against slavery and he stood up and very passionately said, you know, Texas doesn't need to leave the Union over this issue of slavery. But that's the type of principled leadership, that's the type of courage that I hope people across this country on this issue of Scouts and keeping the Boy Scouts the organization that it is today.” [Raw Story, 5/6/2013 ; VIDEO]

 

Significant Findings on LGBT Adoption

Suggested he supported Texas law that prevented LGBT couples from adopting

Proposed a federal law to prevent LGBT couples from adopting children

 

Perry Said “A Gay Couple Cannot Adopt A Child In The State Of Texas.” According to the Texas Tribune: “When asked about a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Perry said there were things the states could to do until such an amendment was passed. ‘I think it is an issue that you can address at the federal level. And passing a federal marriage amendment is one of the ways to do that. But until that does pass, as in the state of Texas, a gay couple cannot adopt a child in the state of Texas,’ Perry said.” [Texas Tribune, 11/20/2011 ]

Texas Tribune: LGBT Individual May Adopt, But Not An LGBT Couple. According to the Texas Tribune, Perry was “right when he says a gay couple can’t adopt. State law only allows a male and female couple to adopt. But nothing stops a single gay person, even if they have a partner, from adopting. A gay person can be a foster parent in Texas, too.” [Texas Tribune, 11/20/2011 ]

Perry Proposed A Federal Provision Prevent LGBT Couples From Adopting. According to The Virginia-Pilot: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry proposed a federal provision that would prevent gay couples from adopting children.” [The Virginian-Pilot, 11/20/2011]

 

Significant Findings on Anti-Bullying

Signed a hate crimes bill to strengthen penalties against those who target LGBT Texans

Signed legislation to prevent anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist church from protesting military funerals

Signed bill requiring school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies, though it did not include specific LGBT protections

 

2001: Perry Signed A Hates Crime Bill That “Strengthened Penalties Offenses Against Minorities, Gays And Others.” According to the New York Times: “After refusing for months to say where he stood, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas signed a hate crimes bill today that strengthens the penalties for offenses against minorities, gays and others. The measure, the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, was named for the East Texas black man who was dragged to his death from a pickup truck in 1998 by three white men. Mr. Perry's predecessor, President Bush, had refused to support the measure two years ago, saying all crimes are hate crimes. Mr. Perry said today, ‘This law sends a signal to would-be criminals that if you attack someone because of their religion or race or gender, you face stiffer penalties.’” [New York Times, 5/12/2001 ]

Perry Signed Legislation To Prevent The Westboro Baptist From Protesting Military Funerals. According to myplainview.com: “Gov. Rick Perry signed into law Friday legislation that bans protests or disruptive behavior at funeral and burial services. The law, which takes effect immediately, makes it a Class B misdemeanor to protest within 500 feet of the site of a funeral service from one hour before to one hour after the service. The measure, sponsored by state Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, and Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, does not specifically mention the protests of Westboro Baptist Church, a church group in Topeka, Kan., that claims God is killing U.S. soldiers who fight for a country that tolerates homosexuality. But the bill was designed with that group in mind.” [Myplainview.com, 5/19/2006 ]

Perry Signed Bill That Required School Districts To Adopt Anti-Bullying Policies. According to DallasVoice.com: “Gov. Rick Perry, under fire of late for hosting a Day of Prayer funded by an anti-gay hate group, on Friday quietly signed the anti-bullying bill that became Equality Texas’ top priority in this year’s legislative session. HB 1942, by Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, doesn’t include specific protections for LGBT youth but for the first time requires school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies and adds bullying by electronic means to the state’s definition. The bill also integrates bullying prevention into the state’s health curriculum and allows districts to transfer bullies to another classroom or campus (previously, only victims could be transferred).” [DallasVoice.com, 6/18/2011 ]

 

Significant Findings on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Used his opposition to LGBT military service in Iowa TV ad

Wanted to bring back “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

 

Perry Said There Was Something Wrong In This Country When “Gays Can Serve Openly In The Military But Our Kids Can’t Openly Celebrate Christmas Or Pray In School.” According to Politico, Perry released an ad “Strong,” where the Governor said, “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.” [Politico, 12/7/2011 ; VIDEO]

Perry Said “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Was “Working” And It Was “Bad Policy” To Change It. During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Perry said, “On the issue of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ it was working. And for the commander-in-chief to use your military as a political tool while we are in combat in two different locations -- at least two different locations around the world, in Iraq and Afghanistan, I think is just irresponsible. I am commander-of-chief of 20,000 plus thousand men and women. I served in the United States Air Force. I understand the issue. And I don’t think it’s one that the [P]resident of the United States and Congress for that matter should be forcing upon the men and women of the military. I think it was bad public policy and I would change it.” [Fox News Sunday, 12/11/2011; VIDEO]

Perry Said He Would Be Comfortable Going Back To ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ According to CNN, Governor Perry said, “If an individual in their private life makes a decision about their sexuality from the standpoint of how they’re going to practice it, that's their business […] That’s the reason ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was in fact a workable policy and that's why I would be comfortable with our country going back to that.” [CNN, 11/8/2011]

Perry Suggested He Would Not Demand The Discharge Of Soldiers Who Came Out During Repeal Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. According to the New York Times Blog, while discussing what he would do with soldiers who had come out during the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’: “Mr. Perry suggested instead that he would defer to civilian and military leaders on deciding whether to discharge gay marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen. ‘I think you go back and you have that conversation with the civilian leaders and the military leaders on how you want to deal with them,’ Mr. Perry said.” [New York Times Blog, 12/8/2011]